The International Council
for Philosophy and Human Sciences

Memory of the World

Programme Objectives

The vision of the Memory of the World Programme is that the world's documentary heritage belongs to all, should be fully preserved and protected for all and, with due recognition of cultural mores and practicalities, should be permanently accessible to all without hindrance.

The mission of the Memory of the World Programme is:
To facilitate preservation, by the most appropriate techniques, of the world's documentary heritage. This may be done by direct practical assistance, by the dissemination of advice and information and the encouragement of training, or by linking sponsors with timely and appropriate projects.

To assist universal access to documentary heritage. This will include encouragement to make digitized copies and catalogues available on the Internet, as well as the publication and distribution of books, CDs, DVDs, and other products, as widely and equitably as possible. Where access has implication sfor custodians, these are respected. Legislative and other limitations on the accessibility of archives are recognised. Cultural sensitivities, including indigenous communities' custodianship of their materials, and their guardianship of access will be honoured. Private property rights are guaranteed in law.

To increase awareness worldwide of the existence and significance of documentary heritage. Means include, but are not limited to, developing the Memory of the World registers, the media, and promotional and information publications. Preservation and access, of themselves, not only complement each other - but also raise awareness, as access demand stimulates preservation work. The making of access copies, to relieve pressure on the use of preservation materials, is encouraged.

Programme Secretariat

The Secretariat of the Memory of the World Programme is provided by the Knowledge Societies Division (CI/KSD) of UNESCO.

The Director-General or his representative shall participate in the work of the International Advisory Committee (IAC), the Bureau and other subsidiary bodies, but without the right to vote. He or she may submit oral or written statements on any matter in the course of this participation. 

The functions of the Secretariat include provision of support services to the IAC and its subsidiary bodies, and the general administration and monitoring of the Programme. This includes the maintenance of the Memory of the World Register (including documentation relating to standards, nominations and registrations), oversight of the Memory of the World Fund, and other tasks as directed by the IAC. The Secretariat is the default, front line contact point for all matters concerning Memory of the World.

Full list of documentary heritage inscribed to the Memory of the World Register


Iskra Panevska
Programme Specialist
Communication and Information Sector (CI)
Mail: i.panevska(at)
Tel: 33-1 45 68 44 97
Fax: 33-1 45 68 55 83

Maria Liouliou
Assistant Programme Specialist
Communication and Information Sector (CI)
Mail: m.liouliou(at)
Tel: 33-1 45 68 38 13
Fax: 33-1 45 68 55 83



March 15, 2015